Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum has announced his slate will keep the same name as the last election, as he makes another bid to hold the city’s top spot once more.
In a press release Wednesday, McCallum’s “Safe Surrey Coalition” promised that if elected, the team would work to get rid of RCMP and start Surrey’s own police force “that will be much better able to deal with local issues.”
The slate also vows to scrap the “second-rate LRT in favour of SkyTrain along Fraser Highway,” and to pause development to “come up with smart community development guidelines that include affordable housing.”
Safe Surrey also announced Bableen Rana would be the slate’s newest council candidate.
Rana, who has been a lawyer for 17 years, is past president of the Newton Rotary Club.
Rana served on Surrey’s Parks and Recreation Commission when McCallum was first elector as mayor.
“Her experience there solidified her passion for community service,” a Safe Surrey release notes.
Rana says she’s running with Safe Surrey because she knows Doug McCallum and “believes in his integrity” and “respects his passion, focus, and commitment to Surrey.”
“My first priority is having Surrey citizens feel safe and secure — on their streets and in their neighbourhoods,” said Rana in a release. “The RCMP has done its best, however, the citizens of Surrey need more and they deserve more. The rapid growth in the city has outgrown the police resources. The structure of the RCMP as a paramilitary force is no longer a good fit for Surrey. We need a Surrey Police force that clearly focuses on local concerns and gets results.”
Earlier this week, Doug Elford also joined McCallum, who served as Surrey’s mayor from 1996 to 2005.
Elford is a longtime Newton advocate and until recently, was president of the Surrey Community Alliance (SCA) slate he founded.
An SCA press release stated the party would be withdrawing from the election due to lack of funding, but SCA candidate Imtiaz Popat said in a subsequent release that Elford’s split caused the “demise” of the party.
Popat said other members of the Surrey Community Alliance “are not giving up” and are looking at other ways to continue their campaign.
Previously announced council candidates for SCA included Elford, Popat, Asad Syed, Saira Aujla and Bernie Sheppard. The team’s school board candidates were Niovi Patsicakis and Aronjit Lageri.
Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20.